Knicks Trade Rumor: Ex-NBA Champion Named as Potential Julius Randle Backup

Julius Randle, Knicks

Getty Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks drives to the basket against Haywood Highsmith #24 and Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat.

As the New York Knicks try to navigate the next month without Julius Randle (dislocated shoulder), a former NBA champion has emerged as a potential trade candidate.

“PJ Tucker is stuck on the [Los Angeles] Clippers and then with the sort of injuries that the Knicks have in the frontcourt, perhaps he’s a possibility,”  Vardon said on “NY SportsNation Nightly” on January 31.

The Clippers acquired Tucker as part of the James Harden trade but the veteran power forward hasn’t played since November 27.

According to Hoopshype’s Michael Scotto, “[Tucker] has been frustrated with his role and wants to help a good team. Should the Clippers fail to find a suitable trade partner, Tucker is not expected to discuss a buyout, league sources told HoopsHype.”

Tucker, 38, is due to earn $11 million this season and has $11.5 million player option next season.

A defensive stalwart, Tucker is also one of the best corner 3-point shooters in his position — an attribute that would fit the Knicks’ need to carve out more space for their All-Star point guard Jalen Brunson.

The veteran forward has hit 36.5% of his threes in his career.

Clippers’ Plan for PJ Tucker

The Clippers do not have plans to trade Tucker to a contender, per Action Network’s Matt Moore.

“Speaking of, the Clippers do not want to trade Tucker to a contender where they might face him again in the postseason. Other than that, the Clippers feel confident with what is their best chance at a title since 2021,” Moore wrote on January 21.

Tucker, who won a title with the Milwaukee Bucks in 2021, needs a good reason to seek a buyout if the Clippers keep him past the trade deadline, according to The Athletic’s Law Murray.

“That all depends on the situation, timing, where,” Tucker told Murray about forgoing his player option. “It’s a lot of things that play into that. I worked hard to be able to get myself in that position. The contract I got, the timing I got it, and all that … it means a lot and something I don’t take for granted. It’s definitely going to take a lot of thought and it’s going to take a real, real opportunity for me to have to go against that.”

Jordan Clarkson Open to Knicks Trade

Vardon also added that Jordan Clarkson, one of the Knicks’ trade targets to replace Immanuel Quckley’s production off their bench, would be open to relocation to New York.

“A friend of mine, Jordan Clarkson, from the Utah Jazz who would love to come to New York, is another [trade] possibility,” Vardon said.

Clarkson, the 2020-21 Sixth Man of the Year, recently played at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks. The Filipino-American guard scored 11 points on 5 of 12 shooting in 32 minutes off the bench but the Jazz lost 118-103.

The 31-year-old Clarkson has Walt Perrin, the former Jazz VP of player personnel, as his strong backer in the Knicks organization. Perrin, now an assistant general manager with the Knicks, played a key role in Utah’s move to acquire Clarkson from Cleveland in 2019.

Clarkson is averaging 17.6 points and 4.9 assists this season for the Jazz. He has started in 19 of Utah’s first 40 games.



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